The Filipino Spirit: A Reflection
For millions of Filipinos, the last 10 days has been a Shake, Rattle, and Roll episode one after another. Terrible rains and howling winds brought about by Typhoon Gener brought back memories of Typhoon Ondoy. But the ensuing monsoon was worse. Called Hagupit ng Habagat by GMA 7, this monsoon led to raging floods that displaced at least 850,000 Filipinos, claimed dozens of lives, and destroyed millions of properties.
The Filipino spirit is Resilient
As I was wading in waist-deep flood water, I can’t helped but be amazed at how resilient the Filipino spirit is. I saw some workers carrying their uniforms in plastic on top of their heads and crossing the flooded street just to get to work. One of our neighbors didn’t even leave their home and just carried on their lives unfazed by the water inside their humble abode.
Workers for a Meralco subcontractor also left their own families to fix power lines and transformers in our barangay, they brought in a crane, like the one you see in construction sites for metal buildings, to fix a blown up transformer.
The Filipino Spirit is Resourceful
“Matutong mamaluktok habang maikli ang kumot.”
This is a Filipino saying that basically means that you make do with what you have. And in this tragedy, it’s amazing how Filipinos find alternative uses for household items. SARAGI, a search and rescue team, uses condoms to protect their cell phones and other gadgets from the rain. I saw a family use an old, rusty bathtub as a raft to transport their kids and stuff to dry land. My brothers and their friend used our palochina box bed and several plastic water containers to create a raft or what they call “balsa”.
The Filipino Spirit is Enterprising
Even with their possessions submerged in water, Filipinos still think of ways to earn money. My brother and his friend used the raft they created (see picture above) to ferry people to dry land. The fare is between P10 -20 depending on the distance. If you’re hiring one to carry your things, you’ll pay p50 for every trip.
Meanwhile, fishermen who can’t fish because of the rains also used their boats as ferry service.
How about you. What do you think about the Filipino spirit? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the comment section below.